18 successful people who started their careers at McDonald's

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Jeff Bezos

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

It's common for a person's first job to be at McDonalds. It can be a stepping stone to significantly higher profile gigs, so why not see whose examples you can follow?

The company has employed several people we now now know as singers, actors, or successful business people - even Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos once worked at the fast-food giant.

We've compiled a list of some of the most successful people who can call themselves McDonalds alumni.

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Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams

By her own admission, McAdams wasn't a great employee.

"I'm not sure why they kept me: I am something of a daydreamer and a dawdler, so they would only let me be the 'friendly voice' that greeted you when you entered the restaurant," she told the Huffington Post.

Jay Leno

Jay Leno

Leno used to work at the McDonald's on Main Street in Andover, Massachusetts in the early '70s.

Fred Durst

Fred Durst

Before joining Limp Bizkit, he was working in the morning shift at a McDonald’s restaurant in Florida.

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

The Amazon founder used to work at McDonald's, and he recently told Fast Company that ”one of the great gifts I got from that job is that I can crack eggs with one hand. My favorite shift was Saturday morning. The first thing I would do is get a big bowl and crack 300 eggs into it.”

Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone

Stone is a movie star and McDonald's alumnus.

Macy Gray

Macy Gray

After making it as a singer, Gray appeared in a McDonald's commercial to deliver the line "The action, the fun, the people, the sense of accomplishment — it truly was my first big break!"

Seal

Seal

Seal worked at McDonald's for two weeks — just long enough to earn one paycheck.

Andy Card, Chief of Staff under George W. Bush

Andy Card, Chief of Staff under George W. Bush

He's the one who famously whispered news of the 9/11 attacks into President Bush's ear while Bush was reading a book to schoolchildren.

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan

Current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has recalled his time working for the fast food franchise many times. "The manager didn’t think I had the social skills to work the counter, and now I’m in Congress!”

Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis

The Olympic gold medalist attributes some of his appreciation of timing to working at McDonald's.

"Time is very important ... you couldn't let the fries get cold. If I was 10 seconds off, I'd have no gold medal," he said.

Pink

Pink

Pink is less grateful. The singer says she is still haunted by nightmares about working at the fast food chain.

"Sometimes I dream I am back there, broke and working at McDonalds. It's like the worst nightmare because I would never want to be back there. I've worked hard to get where I am," she said.

Joe Kernan, former governor of Indiana

Joe Kernan, former governor of Indiana

After McDonald's, he served in the Navy overseas and became mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Star Jones

Star Jones

Before her famous $1 million wedding, she was a fry cook for the Golden Arches.

Keenan Wayans

Keenan Wayans

Wayans managed his local McDonald's before graduating high school.

Shania Twain

Shania Twain

Before becoming a country and pop artist, she worked at a McDonald's in Ontario.

DL Hughley

DL Hughley

Hughley's first job was cleaning the McDonald's lobby. Now he's hit mainstream success in film and television.

James Franco

James Franco

Even after his roles on "Freaks & Geeks" and "Pineapple Express," James Franco continues to have a soft spot for his old job, saying, "All I know is that when I needed McDonald’s, McDonald’s was there for me. When no one else was."

James D'Arcy

James D'Arcy

The English actor, presently portraying Agent Carter for Marvel, once recalled having a gun pulled on him by a customer while working at McDonalds.

BONUS: T-Pain very nearly worked there

BONUS: T-Pain very nearly worked there

Times were tough for him a few years ago.

"I was eating mayonnaise out of the jar. I had an application in my hand," he told Associated Press.

Dylan Love contributed to an earlier version of this article.

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